He Ain't No Challah Back Boy
Gabe Kapler was always a very interesting player to me during his career. He came up while I was in college, and I saw him cycle through a lot of teams fairly quickly: The Tigers, Rangers, Rays, Rockies, Red Sox, Brewers. I could never quite pin down why I liked him so much, other than that - like me - he's Jewish. Unlike me, he's a physical specimen. Like or unlike me (depending on who you ask), he seemed like a very intelligent player. That's why I'm glad he's gone on to be a pretty good writer since the end of his career, and I wasn't the only one who noticed: So did Baseball Prospectus, who tabbed them for a ProGUESTus article. If you're as fascinated by minor league coaching and development as I am, it's a particularly good read, as Kapler talks about what makes a good minor league coach. Well worth your time.
In 1998, we spent the season together in the tiny, filthy clubhouse at the since deceased Wolfson Park in Jacksonville, Florida. It was in the bootleg batting cage, the nets literally collapsing on our heads, that I spent countless hours relentlessly striking balls inconsistently weighted off a tee, with Maniac Matt by my side, invisibly grimacing to support me as I fought through the sessions. "Relax your hands," Matt would tell me. "Breathe."
Matt’s intuitive comprehension of what would make him a great coach was granted by the gene genie or some higher power, not learned. It’s not his understanding of mechanics, although that certainly is a contributing factor. And it’s not his experience. It’s love.
The Springer Show
George Springer played the last game of his Texas League career on June 23rd, but that didn't stop him from being named the Texas League Player of the Year. He also joins fellow Hooks Max Stassi, Jonathan Meyer, Mike Foltynewicz, and David Martinez as Postseason All-Stars in the league. Martinez was named the league's Pitcher of the Year, and Gary Ruby was named the Mike Coolbaugh Texas League Coach of the Year.
Speaking of All-Stars
It was mentioned earlier, but Matt Duffy, MP Cokinos, and Andrew Aplin were named Cal League Postseason All-Stars, along with Manager Rodney Linares and Hitting Coach Darryl Robinson. I bring it up now because St. Mary's - Cokinos' alma mater - had a nice little article on him on their website.
Meanwhile, in the Appalachian League, no Astros were given All-Star nods, but manager Josh Bonifay was named the Manager of the Year.
Ausmus Polishing a Gem
I hate to even link to this, but Padres prospect Austin Hedges has been named a Defensive Gem by MiLB.com. Why is this relevant? Because he's being tutored by Brad Ausmus, which is always worth mentioning.
MP Cokinos stole a base in yesterday's Lancaster game to match his career-high total of one. In fact, here's a bit of fun about Cokinos:
As MiLB.com points out, the RedHawks clinched the PCL American Southern Division, and now all four full-season affiliates are postseason-bound. The GCL and DSL squads are eliminated, but Tri-City and Greeneville both have solid chances to join Quad Cities, Lancaster, Oklahoma City, and Corpus Christi in the playoffs.
In Jason Parks' Monday Morning Ten Pack, he singled out one of our favorite under-the-radar prospects, Michael Feliz. It's before the pay wall, but I'll let you click for the meat. (I assume he meant to refer to Feliz's frame as intimidating, as not many 6'4" bodies intimate much of anything).
The development of the changeup and the refinement of the command will decide his long-term fate, but the easy cheese that explodes from his intimating 6’4’’ frame is going to play, and in a league that lacks much impact potential, Feliz stands out as a player to pay attention to.
What Happened Was...
Oklahoma City RedHawks (AAA) - Oh, you mean the Division Champion Oklahoma City RedHawks? That's right. The Nashville Sounds (MIL) were in town - the perfect opponent for the RedHawks to feast on as they try to clinch a postseason berth and, sure enough, they were up to the task. Eric Berger was shockingly effective in a rare starting performance, and the offense backed him up nicely. After falling down 1-0 through three and a half innings, the RedHawks put a three-spot up in the bottom of the fourth, and added runs in the fifth and seventh. Meanwhile, the pitching staff held the Sounds to six hits by four players, and issued just two walks. A nice team win as they pull out the 5-4 victory.
Oklahoma City: 79-59, Champions - Pacific Coast League American Southern
- CF George Springer - 2/3, 3B, R, RBI, BB
- 3B Brandon Laird - 2/4, R, RBI
- DH Japhet Amador - 3/4, R, RBI
- LHP Eric Berger - 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
- RHP Jose Cisnero - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
- RHP Jason Stoffel - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
- RHP Jorge De Leon - 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
- LF Leonardo Heras - 0/3, BB, K
- 2B Ronald Torreyes - 2/4, R
- 1B Erik Castro - 1/3, 2B, RBI, BB
- CF Drew Muren - 0/3, 2 K
- SS Jio Mier - 0/3 (he has not had a hit since July 30)
- LHP David Rollins - 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
- SS Nolan Fontana - 1/2, R, 3 BB, SB
- 1B MP Cokinos - 3/4, 2 R, K, SB
- RF Chris Epps - 1/3, 2 RBI, BB, 2 K
- LF Jesse Wierzbicki - 1/4, 2B, R, K
- RHP Aaron West - 5.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, BK
- RHP Travis Ballew - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, HBP
- 2B Tony Kemp - 1/3, R, K, HBP
- SS Catfish Elkins - 0/3, R, BB, 3 K
- CF Teoscar Hernandez - 2/4, 2B, 2 R
- 1B Bobby Borchering - 0/4, 3 K
- 3B Rio Ruiz - 3/4, HR, R, 4 RBI, E
- C Jobduan Morales - 1/4, 3B, R
- RHP Daniel Minor - 4.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
- RHP Juan Minaya - 4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, HBP
- RHP Andrew Walter - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
- CF James Ramsay - 2/7, 3B, 2 K
- 3B Tyler White - 2/6, HR, 2 R, RBI, E, HBP
- DH Michael Martinez - 0/5, 4 K, HBP
- LF Jon Kemmer - 2/7, R, RBI, 3 K
- RF Ronnie Mitchell - 3/7, 2B, RBI, K
- RHP Michael Feliz - 5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, WP
- RHP Tyler Brunnemann - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
- LHP J.D. Osborne - 1.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 K
- RHP Charles Basford - 3.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, WP, IBB
- RHP Krishawn Holley - 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, WP
- RHP Gonzalo Sanudo - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB 3 K
- CF Brett Phillips - 0/4, 2 K
- RF Marc Wik - 2/3, 2B, 2 R, BB
- C Alfredo Gonzalez - 1/3, RBI, BB, SB
- 2B Juan Santana - 1/3, 2B, RBI, K, E
- RHP Francis Ramirez - 4.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, WP, HBP
- SS Luis Reynoso - 2/3, 2B, 2 R, RBI, CS, E
- 2B Jose Fernandez - 3/4, 2B, RBI
- LHP Reymin Guduan - 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
- RHP Javier Lozano - 1.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
- RHP Samil De Los Santos - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
- RHP Devonte German - 1.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 1 K